American Literature

11652 Words Aug 18th, 2013 47 Pages
American Literature through Time
To find out more about a particular literature time period, click on the links below:
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Puritan Times Rationalism/Age of Enlightenment American Renaissance/Romanticism Gothic Realism Naturalism Modernism Harlem Renaissance Postmodernism Contemporary

Puritan Times period of American Literature - 1650-1750
Content:
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errand into the wilderness be a city upon a hill Christian utopia

Genre/Style:
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sermons, diaries personal narratives captivity narratives jeremiads written in plain style

Effect:
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instructive reinforces authority of the Bible and church

Historical Context:
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a person 's fate is determined by God all people are corrupt and must
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Genre/Style:
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short story, novel characters usually lower class or lower middle class fictional world is commonplace and unheroic; everyday life is a dull round of daily existence characters ultimately emerge to act heroically or adventurously with acts of violence, passion, and/or bodily strength in a tragic ending

Effect:


this type of literature continues to capture audiences in present day: the pitting of man against nature

Historical Context:


writers reflect the ideas of Darwin (survival of the fittest) and Karl Marx (how money and class structure control a nation)

Modernism period of American Literature - 1900-1946
Content:
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dominant mood: alienation and disconnection people unable to communicate effectively fear of eroding traditions and grief over loss of the past

Genre/Style:
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highly experimental allusions in writing often refer to classical Greek and Roman writings use of fragments, juxtaposition, interior monologue, and stream of consciousness writers seeking to create a unique style

Effect:


common readers are alienated by this literature

Historical Context:
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overwhelming
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